After a disappointing start to the season in the Specsavers County championship, Northamptonshire’s attention now turns to the Royal London One Day Cup, where they will be looking to kick start their season.
A difficult start against Middlesex and two fixtures against Warwickshire did offer some promise however, particularly in the form of their bowling efforts.
New signings Brett Hutton and Luke Procter have chalked up an impressive number of wickets between them, while Northamptonshire stalwarts Ben Sanderson, Richard Gleeson and Steven Crook have also been amongst the wickets.
Leicestershire, on the other hand, have experienced a mixed bag of results coming into their first one-day game of the season. With one win, one loss and two draws to their name, the Foxes will have their tails up when they travel to the County Ground.
Leading Leicestershire’s attack stands Ben Raine, who is in good form, returning match figuresn of 6-86 and hitting a useful 65 in their recent championship match against Glamorgan. Raine was the star of the show as Leicestershire sealed a narrow 3 run victory over Glamorgan for their first win of the season.
Despite Leicestershire travelling to the County Ground off the back of their first win of the season, Northamptonshire will feel confident going into this fixture when taking their previous meetings with the Foxes into consideration.
Northamptonshire sealed two victories over Leicestershire last year, in both the Specasavers County Championship and in the T20 Blast.
Although the landscape for this fixture is slightly different than last year, the first match of the season between these two sides is shaping up to be very interesting.
Northamptonshire’s Head Coach David Ripley
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s fixture, Head Coach, David Ripley, says Northamptonshire’s early season form will not follow the side into their first white-ball fixture of the season.
“Leicester have started the season well and have a lot of experience, it will be a tough game but we know if we play our best white ball cricket we can beat anyone”.
“The thing about Thursdays game is that the red ball cricket we have played will count for very little on the day. One of our issues has been to play too many shots and not bat time, but these are the same players who can change a game of white ball cricket very quickly”.
With a sense of optimism circling around the club with white-ball cricket on the horizon, Ripley believes his side will relish the change of focus from County Championship cricket to One Day Cup action.
“The One Day Cup comes at a good time for us in terms of a change of focus. The timing could be better in terms of injuries missing, Gleeson, Buck and Newton, but I feel our squad can cope and the guys who start the campaign will have the chance to make the spot their own for the whole competition.”